Blazers cannot avenge playoff loss from last season
The Montgomery Blair Blazers (2-1) could not get their offense going against the Northwest Jaguars (2-1), who ran away with the game late in the second quarter in a 58-23 loss on Friday night.
The Blazers had a rocky first quarter. They were stopped by the Northwest defense three times and turned the ball over once, all resulting in a Northwest score. The Blazers' defensive line stopped Northwest's rushing attack, but the secondary defense was unable to stop the passing game. The Jaguars used screen passes and short passes to get their players into open space, and forced the Blair defense make tough open-field tackles.
"They do a lot of different things well, so we tried to pick something and stop an aspect of what they do, and hope for the best in other areas," said head coach Andrew Fields.
Blair wasted no time sitting around, and junior quarterback Desmond Colby threw a deep ball, finding Carter again. Carter was brought down at the one yard line, and with a fresh set of downs junior running back Eric Zokouri punched it in for the short score. The Blazers kept the energy, and on the next drive Carter intercepted the Northwest quarterback, giving Blair's scorching offense another shot. Colby completed a pass to Zokouri and a deep bomb to senior Omari Brooks before a Northwest pass interference penalty put the Blazers back on the one yard line. Called on again, Zokouri scored again, and brought the Blazers to within seven points with eight minutes left in the quarter.
To begin the second half, Blair swung some of the momentum back their way. They recovered the kickoff, then moved downfield for a field goal, and recovered yet another kickoff. "They weren't really onside kicks, we were just trying to place the ball where they weren't," said Fields. "We didn't want to give the ball to their deep guys, because they were pretty good players, so we kicked it to the shorter guys, and they weren't able to handle the ball."
The rest of the game belonged to Northwest, who scored three more touchdowns. Blair's offense was not able to move the ball as effectively as it had in the second quarter, and the defense who had held its own sputtered. In the end, the Blazers lost 58-23. "We tried everything, we all gave 100 percent, and we just tried to fly to the ball, make plays, and play as a team," said Guzman.
Northwest bounced back from a loss in its last game against Seneca Valley. Last year in the playoffs Northwest beat Blair 38-3.
Next week Blair plays at the Churchill Bulldogs (1-2), who were shut out 50-0 by Seneca Valley. Zokouri knows that every week is a chance to improve. "We need more turnovers, that's it, just work as a team, come to practice every single day and work hard," said Zokouri.
Next week's matchup: 9/25/15
Blair Blazers (2-1) vs. Churchill Bulldogs (1-2) @Churchill, 6:30
Benjamin Yokoyama. Baseball! More »